A Radical Proposal to Narrow the “Turnout Gap”: Make Voting Compulsory

It’s hardly news that younger people are much less likely to go to the polls than older people. Just 48.5 percent of all 18- to 24-year-old Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election, for example, compared with 72.6 percent of those 65 and older. That’s a “turnout gap” of more than 24 percent. It’s much the same in many other countries, including England. According to the London-based Institute for Public Policy Research, just 44 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in …

Year of the Job-Seeker

Susan Milligan is visiting six Election 2012 battleground states to talk with 50-plus voters for a report that will be published in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin. She posted this from a career fair in Independence, Ohio. A lot of middle-aged Ohioans are looking for jobs. While things here are better than they were – the unemployment rate statewide was 7.5 percent in March, down from a high of 10.6 percent in late 2009 – the people I …

Is the Grand Old Party Growing Older?

Republican primary voters are getting older. And it’s not just because, like the rest of us, they’ve aged four years since the last presidential election. The proportion of GOP primary voters who are 50 and older has gotten substantially bigger since 2008, according to exit polls in the states that have held primaries so far, even as overall turnout has dropped. In many cases, the increases have been in the double digits, showing a dramatic rise in the influence of …

Older Voters Give Santorum a Lift in Louisiana

Candidates, take note: Boomers are an enormous part of the presidential electorate and can play a pivotal role in who gets the nomination and wins a trip to – or back to – the White House. In Louisiana, just about half (49 percent) of the voters in yesterday’s Republican primary voters were 45 to 64 years old, according to exit polls. Another 26 percent of the voters were 65 or older, putting the contest firmly in the hands of older …

In Illinois, You’ve Earned A Say

Hi folks! It’s Gerardo from the Illinois Communications team bringing you information about a series of events that AARP will be hosting across the state over the next few months and into 2013 – events that will help ensure YOU have a voice in any debate about the future of Medicare and Social Security. AARP is launching “You’ve Earned a Say”. Why? Because, you have earned a say about the future of Medicare and Social Security – and because AARP …

A Small Measure of Voter Dissatisfaction

Are older voters as angry as they were in 2010, when they formed the backbone of the Tea Party? Listening to an NPR report from a debate-watching party in Oracle, Ariz., on Feb. 20, you might not think so. At least not at first. Fifteen members of the Saddlebrooke Republican Club  gathered in their retirement community, which, according to the developer’s website, offers “a country club lifestyle that can best be described as breathtaking.” The partiers weren’t really representative of …